Sebastian Area Inshore / Nearshore Fishing Report & Forecast: January 2014

The Sebastian area offers world class inshore fishing as evidence by this nice redfish. PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Gus Brugger
The Sebastian area offers world class inshore fishing as evidence by this nice redfish. PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Gus Brugger

January is usually the heart of the winter fishing season in East Central Florida. Water temperatures will be in the 60s if all is normal, with cold snaps driving them as low as the upper 40s and occasional warm spells lifting them into the upper 70s. The changing temperatures will move the fish around more than at other times of the year.

Sebastian River

The Sebastian River’s most prominent role in January is a sanctuary. It keeps a large number of manatees warm in its north forks 15-plus foot depths. It also keeps a hoard of ladyfish, jacks, an occasional gator trout and even a few pompano warm on the colder days. Warm weather may get some of the resident juvenile tarpon to roll and once and a while they will take a swipe at a D.O.A. Terror-Eyz or three inch shrimp. Quarter to half ounce jigs and Mirrolures will catch just about everything else in the Sebastian River.

Indian River Lagoon

Not every January day warrants hiding away in some protected nook, but even if that is the case the lagoon offers some great options for trout and redfish. Canals, protected shallow bays, and sunny shorelines are excellent areas to find both trout and reds soaking up the sun’s warmth and sucking up some sluggish baitfish and crustaceans. Sight fishing along shorelines is a good way to find slot size reds, which will generally eat a properly placed live shrimp or D.O.A. soft plastic. The future benefit of clean water will be the regrowth of our still non-existent grass beds. Floating live shrimp is the hands down the most consistent way to take everything and anything when the mercury drops. Pompano, blues, trout, weakfish, snapper and small grouper are regular catches around the deeper water flats behind the Sebastian Inlet. Nylure jigs, Goofy jigs, small diving plugs and live shrimp are all good choices.

Sebastian Inlet

A few nice flounder will remain around the inlet throughout the winter and bluefish, jacks, pompano, black drum, and Spanish mackerel will keep jetty anglers busy throughout the day.

Near Shore Atlantic

Pompano and whiting are the mainstay of surf fishermen along the Treasure Coast in the winter. Sand fleas, cut clams and dead shrimp on three hook dropper rigs are the baits of choice. Boaters looking along the beaches are apt to find blues, mackerel and some pompano on the calmer days. Goofy jigs, spoons, and bucktail jigs worked from the beach, or toward the beach from a boat, are good ways to search for pompano and blues on calm days.

January is a month of opportunity in the Sebastian area, you just need to get out and fish.


Capt. Gus came to the Sebastian area in the mid 1980s and has been a full-time guide since 1992. You can reach Capt. Gus at (772) 589-0008 or by email. To learn more visit the Pattern Setter website.